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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF IDAHO


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

BLUE MEADOWS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP,
REALVEST CORPORATION, ROBERT
SKALAK, CINDY SKALAK, &
JONNIE PEDEN,
     Defendants.

___________________________________

Complaint

Demand for Jury Trial

The United States of America alleges:

  1. This action is brought by the United States on behalf of Lisa Clements and her minor children, Destinee, Caitlin, Tyra, and Skyler, Margo Johnson and her minor son, James, and the Intermountain Fair Housing Council pursuant to Section 812(o) of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §3612(o).

  2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §1345 and 42 U.S.C. §3612(o).

  3. Blue Meadows Apartments is a 229 unit complex located at 5122 W. Stoker Lane, Boise, Idaho, within the District of Idaho. The buildings at Blue Meadows are dwellings within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §3602(b).

  4. At all times relevant to the complaint, defendant Blue Meadows Limited Partnership has been the owner of Blue Meadows Apartments. Defendant Blue Meadows is a limited partnership that does business within the District of Idaho.

  5. At all times relevant to the complaint, defendant Realvest Corporation has been a General Partner in Blue Meadows Limited Partnership and the entity responsible for management of Blue Meadows Apartments. Defendant Realvest Corporation is a Washington corporation that does business within the District of Idaho.

  6. At all times relevant to the complaint, Defendant Robert Skalak has been the area manager for Realvest Corporation. Defendant Robert Skalak resides in the District of Idaho.

  7. At all times relevant to the complaint, Defendant Cindy Skalak has been the resident manager for Blue Meadows Apartments. Defendant Cindy Skalak resides in the District of Idaho.

  8. At all relevant times to the complaint, Defendant Jonnie Peden has been the assistant resident manager of Blue Meadows Apartments. Defendant Jonnie Peden resides in the District of Idaho.

  9. Since approximately October 1, 1998, Lisa Clements and her minor children, Destinee, Caitlin, Tyra, and Skyler, have lived in Blue Meadows Apartments in Boise, Idaho.

  10. From approximately November 1, 1999 through October 2000, Margo Johnson and her minor son, James, resided in Blue Meadows Apartments in Boise, Idaho.

  11. Intermountain Fair Housing Council (IFHC) is a private, non-profit corporation that is organized under the laws of the State of Idaho, within the District of Idaho.

  12. On or about July 1, 1995 and continuing until approximately July 11, 1999, Defendants stated, adopted, and enforced a policy at Blue Meadows Apartments that imposed a limitation on the use of facilities by persons under the age of eighteen years. Specifically, those rules:(1) required all occupants under the age of eighteen years to be supervised whenever they were outside of their apartments; and (2) prohibited all people under the age of eighteen years from using or occupying any of the common areas after 10:00 p.m., irrespective of adult or parental supervision. Defendants incorporated these rules into an addendum to the lease that tenants were required to sign.

  13. On or about May 1998, Defendants adopted, distributed, and enforced written Swimming Pool Rules, which prohibited residents or occupants under the age of seventeen from going to the pool area at anytime unless accompanied by their resident parent.

  14. On one or more occasions in 1999, Defendants, through the issuance written admonishments to Lisa Clements, enforced the rules against Ms. Clements restricting the use of common areas by children under the age of eighteen.

  15. On one or more occasions in 2000, Defendants prohibited Margo Johnson's sixteen year-old son, James, from using the pool facilities unless he was accompanied by his mother.

  16. As a result of the discrimination at Blue Meadows Apartments, IFHC diverted resources from its other activities to investigate complaints of discrimination at Blue Meadows and additional outreach and training on the requirements of the Fair Housing Act.

  17. On or about September 28, 1999, Lisa Clements filed, pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §3610(a), a housing discrimination complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In her complaint, Ms. Clement alleged that Defendants discriminated against her on the basis of familial status, in violation of Section 804(b) and (c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604(b) and (c), when they made, printed, and enforced rules that restricted her minor children's access to the facilities within the apartment complex.

  18. On or about October 30, 2000, Margo Johnson filed, pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §3610(a), a housing discrimination complaint with HUD. In her complaint, Ms. Johnson alleged that Defendants discriminated against her on the basis of familial status, in violation of Section 804(b) and (c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604(b) and (c), when they made, printed, and enforced rules that restricted her minor son's access to the facilities and pool within the apartment complex.

  19. On or about October 22, 1999, IFHC filed, pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §3610(a), a housing discrimination complaint with HUD. In its complaint, IFHC alleged that Defendants' rules and regulations discriminated on the basis of familial status, in violation of Section 804(b) and (c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604(b) and (c), when they made, printed, and enforced rules that restricted minor children's access to the facilities and pool within the apartment complex. In its complaint, IFHC alleged that its purpose of eliminating discrimination had been frustrated and its resources diverted from other activities because Blue Meadows Apartments implemented and enforced policies contrary to the requirements of the Fair Housing Act.

  20. Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §3610(a) and (b), the Secretary of HUD (Secretary) conducted and completed an investigation of the complaints, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on information gathered in the investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause exists to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred. Accordingly, on May 24, 2001, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3610(g)(2)(A), charging Defendants with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

  21. On or about June 5, 2001, Defendants elected to have the Charge resolved in a civil action filed in federal district court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3612(a).

  22. Following this election, the Secretary of HUD authorized the Attorney General to commence a civil action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3612(o).

  23. Defendants, through the actions referenced above, have:

    1. discriminated in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of familial status, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b) and

    2. made, printed, and published, or cause to be made, printed, or published notices, statements, or advertisements, with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicated a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on familial status, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(c).

  24. Ms. Clements and her minor children, Destinee, Caitlin, Tyra, and Skyler, Ms. Johnson and her minor child, James, and the Intermountain Fair Housing Council are aggrieved persons, as defined in 42 U.S.C. §3602(i), and have suffered damages as a result of Defendants' conduct described above.

  25. The discriminatory actions of Defendants were intentional, willful and taken in disregard for the rights of the complainants.

WHEREFORE: the United States prays that the Court enter an ORDER that:

  1. Declares that the discriminatory housing practices of Defendants, as set forth above, violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§3601, et seq.;

  2. Enjoins Defendants, their agents, employees, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them from discriminating on the basis of familial status in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling; and

  3. Awards appropriate damages to Lisa Clements, Margo Johnson, and their respective minor children, and IFHC, pursuant to Sections 812(o)(3) and 813(c)(1) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§3612(o)(3) and 3613(c)(1).

The United States further prays for such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.


JOHN ASHCROFT
Attorney General

THOMAS E. MOSS
Interm United States Attorney

RALPH F. BOYD, JR
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

MARC HAWS
Assistant United States Attorney
First Interstate Center
877 W. Main Street
Suite 201
Boise, Idaho
(208) 334-1211

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

TIMOTHY J. MORAN
DONALD WALKER TUNNAGE
Attorneys
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202) 305-2789


Document Filed: August 31, 2001.

General Information Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
 
Leadership
Steven H. Rosenbaum
Chief
Contact
Housing & Civil
Enforcement Section
(202) 514-4713
TTY - 202-305-1882
FAX - (202) 514-1116
To Report an Incident of Housing Discrimination:
1-800-896-7743
Mailing Contact
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, NWB
Washington, D.C. 20530

Email: fairhousing@usdoj.gov

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